Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Pepperoni Wheels - Make Them Now, Freeze Them, And Arm Yourself for the Holidays
I realizing I'm not telling you anything new here when I say that pepperoni, cheese, and pizza dough were meant to be together. But hopefully I am telling you something new when I say that you can make these little babies, freeze them, and pull them out and reheat whenever you need a quick snack or appetizer.
This is a major comfort to me this time of year. I don't know about you but I am slightly blindsided by the fact the holidays are upon us. Driving home from my mom's the other morning I saw a sign that said 'Less Than Eight Weeks Until Christmas!' I almost veered off the road. This is exactly why I had to share these little gems with you - they might help you remain sane this holiday season.
Believe it or not I already have a freezer full of them due to plans for a Halloween party/surprise birthday party for my dear sister going disastrously awry (you'll notice I had to skip out on my annual Halloween recipe series - it's been a tough last couple of weeks.) But God works in mysterious ways and in this particular case he stocked me up with pepperoni wheels. If cousin Eddie should drop by (then again don't we all have our own 'Cousin Eddie'?) - I'll know what to feed him.
What's your favorite go to holiday appetizer?
* Makes 45 'wheels'
* Inspired by the delectable pepperoni rolls at Double Daves Pizza. The most delicious cellulite-maker I've ever eaten.
1 pkg refrigerated pizza dough (such as Pillsbury)
8 oz shredded cheddar
8 oz shredded Parmesan
8 oz pepperoni slices
4 oz (or more) sliced salami (or you can go with all pepperoni - up to you)
an egg wash - 1 egg whisked with some half and half or cream or water
Flour for dusting board
Marinara or mustard for serving
Preheat oven to 350 (325 if your oven runs hot - you do not want to burn these.)
Spread some flour out lightly on a clean counter or cutting board. Unroll your dough, flour a rolling pin, and begin to roll it out just getting it to behave and flatten a little so you can cut it into fours. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four even squares. Set 3 aside (or back in the fridge if your kitchen is warm) and use your pin (adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking) to smooth and flatten out as much as possible but before it gets so thin that holes appear, trying to keep it as 'square-ish' as possible.
Using a pastry brush or the back of a wide spoon, lightly brush the dough with dijon mustard, leaving one edge clear and dry by about an inch long margin. Sprinkle with a nice layer of Parmesan and cheddar cheese - don't be shy with it - but keep the layer even so you can roll it, again keeping the one end free and clear. Add slices of pepperoni on top, overlapping them, and repeat with the salami. Using a pastry brush, brush the clean edge with your egg wash.
Then, starting from the opposite end from the 'clean' edge, carefully but determinedly begin rolling it up using the tips of your fingers to squish and keep in the filling as you do. Remember dough isn't all that different from a horse - the minute you show fear, you're finished. Once you have it all rolled up, make sure that the egg brushed edge is the side that is facing down (I give it an extra little press to be sure it's sealed.)
Carefully transfer to an aluminum lined, non stick sprayed baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes while you finish the rest of the rolls.
Once ready to bake (have oven preheated to 350) remove the rolls from the fridge and carefully but quickly cut with a sharp knife into wheels (about 1/4 inch thick.) Place the wheels about an inch apart and bake for 12-15 minutes. The only hitch with these is that it's very hard to tell when they're done because the tops will not get golden. If you wait until the tops are golden, chances are the bottoms are already black - so remove them to check for doneness sooner than later to check them lifting one up with a spatula. Let cool on the pan for 1 minute then transfer to a cookie rack to cool all the way or serve immediately. Serve them with marinara for dipping or even mustard or both.
If not serving right away, let cool completely before placing in a freezer bag and freezing.